GA Employment Law—Overtime, Leave Entitlement, and Wage and Hours

Georgia is subject to federal and state employment and labor laws, which dictate to employers minimum wage, overtime, and family leave requirements. When you are considering an employment law question, it’s important to learn whether it is state or federal law that applies. In some states, the state laws are more generous than the federal regulations, whereas in other states the reverse is true. This article explains wage and hour laws in the state as well as employees’ rights under the Federal and Medical Leave Act.

Georgia Minimum Wage

Georgia’s minimum wage for employers with 6 or more employees is consistent with the federal amount at $6.55 per hour (July 2008). For Georgia employees who earn cash tips in the course of their work, the acceptable minimum wage is $2.13 per hour. Nevertheless, if a worker’s hourly earnings plus tips do not equal or exceed the federal minimum wage, the employer must “make up the difference” and pay them so that their earnings are equal to the federal minimum.

Georgia Overtime Laws

Georgia’s overtime laws require that all employees be paid time and a half (one and one half times the regular rate of pay) when they work more than 40 hours per week. Several groups of employees are exempt from the overtime laws. These include police officers and firefighters in departments with less than 5 employees, executive and professional employees, administrators, employees who work on commission, apprentices and interns, airline employees and taxi drivers, commercial fishermen or boat crewmen, in-home attendants, caretakers or babysitters, newspaper delivery people, railroad workers, and film workers.

Georgia Family and Medical Leave

Georgia workers who are employed by companies with 50 employees are more are covered under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under this law, employers must guarantee that the employee’s job (or a similar position) will be there on the employee’s return.

Employment Law Resources

Are you worried that your employer has denied you your proper wage, overtime pay, or leave? If so, you should phone the federal Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division at 1-866-4-US-WAGE to file a complaint. Your employer may not discriminate against you or harass you for claiming legitimate benefits without legal consequences.

You can visit the Georgia Department of Labor’s Web site. You may also wish to hire a Georgia employment attorney who will advice you on your rights.